Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day

When and where are you?  Pretending to be somehwere else - some Time else - can be very revealing.

According to DaysOfTheYear.com, December 8 is “Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day.”  First of all, if you want to pretend to be a time traveler, simply ignore the date.  The very definition of the day makes the date moot.  Any day is Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.

Time travel is a reality that is with us constantly.  We all move through time at a steady rate of 60 seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, etc.  But there are some factors that tend to alter our perception of this pace.

Sleep is considered by some to be an acceleration of our perceived travel through time.  Certain drugs – think anesthesia for an operation – certainly augment the feeling of accelerated forward-moving time travel.

Location is another time-altering factor.  From here in Vancouver, Canada – right at this very moment – it’s tomorrow in Sydney, Australia.  Pick up a phone, or Skype, or text to someone in another time zone or across the International Date Line.  Depending on where in the world they (and you) are, your “now” may not be their “now.”  We could be in their “earlier” or “later.”  Play with it. Check out TimeAndZone.com to look around for interesting alternate times.

For many of us, we can simply sit in front of the computer and hours can pass in what seems like minutes.

Pretending is merely an exercise in awareness.  To make it more fun, you can think outside the reality of our 24/7/365 shared time travel experience.

Reading a book or watching a movie can certainly help you feel as though you are experiencing another time.  Use them as your launching pads. You can extend the feeling by sitting back, closing your eyes, and imagining being in those alternate times.  Go beyond the book or movie and explore the new time venue with your imagination.  Mentally write yourself into the plot, or go in a tangent of your own musings.

The new Star Wars movie is coming out this month.  “The Force Awakens” is the seventh episode of the Star Wars story arc, and some theatres are playing all seven in episode order (as opposed to chronological order, since episodes 4, 5 and 6 came out first).  If you think you can handle this time travel experience, put aside 16 hours or so and travel a long time ago to a galaxy far, far away.

I have my own time travel trick, one I’ve “played” since I was a kid.  It can work at any given time, in any random place.  For me, I have a particular trigger that helps randomize the experience.  It’s whenever I get one of those little involuntary “shivers” like when you accidentally chew on a piece of aluminum foil or hear nails dragging along a blackboard.

At that moment, I clear my mind (as much as practical, since sometimes I’m driving or dealing with people).  I then become aware of my surroundings as if for the first time in, say, 10 years (that amount varies for the most arbitrary reasons; since I last moved, since I was in high school, since before I grew my beard, etc.).

Then the game begins.  Much like going to one of those Escape Rooms (see our articles on Escape Rooms here for Canada and here for the USA), read surrounding clues to figure out when and where you are.  Enjoy the mystery, look for the clues, thrill at the discovery of the answers.

Whose place is this?  Am I wearing a wedding ring?  What are those mountains?  How much does gas cost?  How much!?  Is there any mail around that will give me a clue about my address?  How did I get that scar on my hand? What kinds of meds are in the medicine cabinet? Is this little device in my pocket a phone or a computer? Both!?

Approach mirrors with caution!  Hair style and color are big clues as to time passed.  Have glasses appeared – or disappeared? Have tattoos appeared – or disappeared? How much weight have you gained or lost?

If you happen to be driving, let a deeper autopilot take you to your destination.  Then ask yourself where you’re going?  Why?  Look around and try to tell the season or time of day by nature; position of the sun, color of tree leaves, types of birds, etc.  What languages are on signs? Where are all those license plates from?  Why am I driving a Chevy?

Once you start deducing the answers, once you start realizing when and where you are, muse about how much or how little things have changed between now and then.  Think about why. Consider the alternatives. You may find a new appreciation for a myriad of little details in your life.

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